Meet the newest Ravens linebacker: Sergio Kindle

April 23, 2010 | WNST Staff

The Ravens selected linebacker Sergio Kindle of Texas with the 43rd pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. Here’s a bio and some tidbits regarding Kindle…

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Wiki:

Sergio Valent’e Kindle (born September 20, 1987) is an American football linebacker and defensive end for the University of Texas Longhorns. He is considered one of the top talents for the 2010 NFL Draft.[1][2]

High school career

Kindle was coached by Bobby Estes, along with Conley Bland, Cliff Hutcheson and Paul Tullis, at Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas. He excelled playing offense and defense at running back and linebacker, recording 411 tackles and 55 tackles for losses, while rushing for 5,632 yards and 86 touchdowns over his final three seasons. This performance earned him the accolade as the only player in Texas to boast all-state honors on both offense and defense in 2005. He was also named first-team All-American by USA Today as well as a PARADE All-America selection and Parade Player of the Year finalist. He was invited to play in the 2006 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Kindle also played basketball as Woodrow Wilson High’s starting center. He also ran the 400m, 4×400-meter relay and competed in the long jump.

College career

After missing the first two games of the 2006 Longhorn football season with an ankle injury, Kindle appeared in 11 games at strongside linebacker and on special teams for the Texas Longhorns. He registered 21 tackles, three tackles for losses and ranked third on the team in special teams tackles with eight.

Over the summer prior to the 2007 Longhorn football season, Kindle and his teammate Henry Melton were arrested in separate incidents on charges of driving while intoxicated.[3][4][5] Both players were suspended from the first three games of the season. They were also required to perform community service and missed the first two days of practice in order to visit with a woman whose son was crippled by a drunk driver.[6]

In his junior season, Kindle appeared in all 13 games, of which he started 11, at linebacker, defensive end and on special teams. He posted 53 tackles, 10 sacks, 14 TFL, 15 pressures, two PBU, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. His performances helped the Longhorn defense to rank first in the Big 12 (18.8 ppg/18th NCAA), and earned Kindle a 2008 All-American honorable mention by Sports Illustrated, as well as first-team All-Big 12 honors by the league’s coaches, Austin American-Statesman, Kansas City Star and San Antonio Express-News and second-team All-Big 12 honors by Associated Press, Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Waco Tribune-Herald.

For the 2009 season, Kindle was moved to the defensive end position, replacing Brian Orakpo who was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 2009 NFL Draft. He was named to the watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award and Hendricks Award. Heading into the National Championship Game, Kindle has 47 tackles, 3 sacks, 17 TFLs, and 31 QB Hurries.

In the 2010 National Championship, Kindle recorded 2.5 sacks.

Personal

Sergio Kindle was born in Los Angeles, California and moved to Texas shortly after he was born. His father played Semi-pro football in Dallas.

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    CBSSports.com breakdown (via NFLDraftScout.com):

    Read & React: A chase-down player who attacks and plays very well when free to roam. Excellent closing speed to the ball and strong reaction once a ballcarrier makes his move. Relies on his athleticism too much and his instincts are questionable. Will overrun plays and can be fooled by misdirection. Could improve his awareness by keeping eyes in the backfield when rushing the passer.

    Run defense: Has the length and change-of-direction agility to hold the corner. Closes down the line well, and has improved his willingness to chase downfield. Must improve his ability to disengage from blocks of NFL-caliber tackles, or even tight ends, on the edge. Strong enough to hold his ground on run plays and stand up in the trash when fresh, but his lack of bulk causes him to tire quickly when playing every down. Will run around blocks at times. Athletic enough to avoid cuts but doesn’t always use his hands well.

    Pass defense: His speed and length stops receivers and backs in their tracks on screen passes to at least force them inside. Quick enough to stay with tight ends in the flat or down the seam. A step late catching bootlegs run toward him, and not quite smooth or agile enough to make up ground. Brings down receivers quickly when dropping into zone from linebacker spot. Needs work on route recognition. Knocks down passes on the line and in coverage using his long arms, but does not have great hands for the interception.

    Tackling: Has very good closing speed. Difficult to avoid in space as he can break down and quickly change direction. Has the length to wrap up ballcarriers in the open field or shut down the edge after getting off outside blocks. Strong enough to arm-tackle backs and receivers. Proved more than capable on special teams early in his career because of his size and speed.

    Pass Rush/Blitz: Owns prototypical height, length and speed for an elite pass rusher. Quick off the snap whether lined up with his hand down or standing up. Explodes into quarterback. Can turn the corner and square to the quarterback quickly. Flashes a bull rush against tackles, but does not get off straight-on blocks to get secondary pressure. Stops his rush effort after initial contact. Gets picked up by running backs too easily, tries to dance around them instead of attacking.

    Intangibles: Nagging injuries, off-field issues and inconsistency are red flags to scouts. A quiet leader in the locker room who doesn’t act out when things are down or let negative press get to him. Father of Sergio, Jr.

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